A Manhasset organization is hosting an event to get rid of unwanted and outdated medications.
The Coalition Against Substance Abuse is hosting Shed the Meds from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Shelter Rock Elementary School in Manhasset. The program is co-sponsored by state Sen. Elaine Phillips and the Nassau County Police Department.
During the event, anyone can drop off medications, which will be safely disposed of by Nassau police officers. No needles will be accepted.
Improper disposal of medications, such as pouring them down the drain or flushing them down the toilet, can potentially pollute local waterways.
“Safely disposing of old, unwanted medications is a small step that makes a big difference in protecting our water,” Phillips said.
CASA project director Cathy Samuels said the event is part of a multi-pronged approach to teaching residents how to keep medicines safely in the home, out of reach of children, and how to dispose of medications.
“In the opioid epidemic, we’re hopeful that people will be disposing of medications that can often get into the hands of folks who will misuse them,” Samuels said. “It’s really trying to help people change a behavior toward their medication so that we can say we can dispose of them through these events.”
Samuels said many people think it is acceptable to give their children or others a dose of prescription medication, such as a pain pill for a migraine.
“A lot of times people think it’s OK to share medications, and it’s not,” Samuels said. “They are prescribed specifically by your weight, height and other parameters. For parents, it’s important that we all model safe medicine practices and making sure we’re storing our medication securely. Even our youngest kids can get into our medication.”
Samuels said residents do not need to wait for the events and can take unwanted and expired prescriptions to any Nassau County police precinct.
“Our work is still in front of us,” Samuels said. “We still have a lot of work to do because there are still many people going to the hospital for overdoses, people being revived by naloxone. These efforts can hopefully prevent some medicines from getting into the wrong hands.”